Monday, 26 November 2012

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Tom:
Picnic at Hanging Rock,1975,Australia
Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Anne-Louise Lambert, Rachel Roberts & Jacki Weaver

                             ''What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.''

I never really knew much about 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' up until very recently, I knew it was considered one of the best Australian films, I had honestly thought it was a comedy. Recently I searched the film up on IMDB, and read the plot summary and discovered this film was a mystery, I instantly went to eBay and purchased the Blu- Ray, as a result I may have just witnessed the greatest Australian film ever made.

On St. Valentines Day 1900, a group of school girls travel to Hanging Rock, a former volcano that erupted around a million years prior, during the day trip, a group of girls explore the rock, which results in a bizarre disappearance.

'Picnic at Hanging Rock' is a completely immersing film, its an utterly engaging and beautiful mystery that left me haunted, disturbed and amazed. I expected to like this film, not love it like I did, and I really  wasn't expecting such a haunting experience, but 'Panic at Hanging Rock' is all that and a whole lot more.

I love ambiguity, for me personally, if its done right ambiguity can be the most terrifying aspect a film can supply. I know some people require a solution when watching a mystery, they need answers, but I am not one one of those people, and if this film gave me straight answers, It probably wouldn't have had the same effect on me. That's the beauty of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' , it will leave you in a daze for a long time.

The film is so beautifully photographed, mixed with its amazing score, the film feels like a moving work of art. Peter Weir directs this film, Weir is a highly talented filmmaker and probably one of the very best this country has produced, he would later go on to make classic films like 'Gallipoli', 'Dead Poet's Society' & 'The Truman Show', but in my view, this film is still his finest hour, such a controlled and masterful piece of work.

The cast is all brilliant, but they definitely take a back seat to the spectacle taking place on screen. The film features performances from Australian actors such as Anne-Louise Lambert, Rachel Roberts, future 'Wolf Creek' star John Jarret, and Academy Award Nominee Jacki Weaver.

Recently, I have seen many Australian classics, 'Wake In Fright', 'Walkabout'.'Long Weekend' & 'Road Games' to name a few, but they all pretty much pale in comparison to 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'. A beautiful and incredibly haunting mystery, that is a must see if you want to witness the best of Australian cinema.

****1/2

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